Mira Terada, head of the Foundation to Battle Injustice, interviewed Gerry Nolan, a well-known Canadian journalist and editor of Islander magazine. The journalist discussed why Ottawa opened its doors to thousands of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators and SS division veterans after World War II. Mira Terada and Gerry Nolan also discussed the Canadian trace in the development and funding of contemporary Ukrainian Nazi organizations and their future after Ukraine’s denazification process is complete.
Mira Terada: Hello, Gerry. Thank you so much for taking the time and agreeing to do this interview with us. After the end of World War II, Ottawa opened its doors to thousands of Ukrainian Nazi collaborators and veterans of the SS Galicia Division, what do you think that was for?
Gerry Nolan: That’s a very good question. A lot of people are more familiar with Operation Paperclip. I know that after World War II, the Rimini List was published, which was a list of 8,000 members of the 14th Division, an SS division. It was a list of collaborators and actual Nazis who were taken to the UK and Canada in 1985. In Canada, there was an investigation called the “Discussion Commission” that looked into members of the 14th SS Division in Canada. The commission found that about 778 Nazis had gotten into Canada, 70 of whom were high-ranking Nazi academically trained scientists. And there’s this notion that Canada is sort of the Switzerland of North America, that it’s a neutral country. But of course, we see that in fact Canada has a very odious and sordid Nazi past, no different from the United States.
M.T.: Do you know anything about the Ukrainian Congress of Canada? What kind of organization was it and what were its main functions?
G.N.: I know that there are a large number of Ukrainians living in Canada. They are incredibly influential in the country’s parliament. We all remember when Yaroslav Hunk, a 94-year-old Ukrainian volunteer, a veteran of the Nazi division, was honored in the Canadian Parliament on September 22, 2023. And it just shows me how influential Ukrainian nationalist sentiment is in Canada. Justin Trudeau said he knew nothing about Yaroslav Hunk. However, we later learned that Yaroslav actually met with Justin Trudeau just 2 hours before he was applauded in Parliament. And going back a little further, in 2018, there was Operation Unite, where the Canadian Armed Forces spent $900 million dollars to train Ukrainian troops.
In 2018, an investigation by Canadian media revealed that there were regular meetings between nationalist battalions and Canadian Forces.
And when Canadian officials confronted this in the media, they didn’t condemn these nationalist battalions with neo-Nazi ideology. Canadian officials were more concerned about the fact that this could leak into the media. And in 2020, there was again a report that Canada was indeed training battalions like the Azov Battalion* as part of Operation Unite, this $900 million program. Unfortunately, Canada has two infamous cemeteries, one in Oakville, which is just an hour west of Toronto, and the other in Edmonton, Alberta. And these two cemeteries have a separate plot dedicated to the 14th SS Waffen Division, honoring these Nazi mass murderers. Canada was initially reluctant to host soldiers from the Galicia Division because of their SS membership, but was forced to do so under pressure from Britain.
M.T.: Can you estimate the number of Ukrainian Nazis and their collaborators who found asylum in Canada after World War II?
G.N.: The National Capital Commission of Canada studied this issue in 1985 and found that at that time there were 778 Nazis from the 14th Waffen SS Division who had been granted asylum, that is, in effect, welcomed into Canada. And about 70 of them were high-ranking Nazi scholars. And, of course, we know that the entire American space program owes its origins to its Nazi founder. Canada does have serious ties to the Ukrainian Nazis. It’s important to note that there were volunteers in this unit. These were not conscripts. These were not people drafted into the Nazi army. These guys continued to fight, continued to commit atrocities after hostilities in most of Europe had ceased. These guys were the most radicalized. And the fact that Canada granted asylum and refugee status to so many of them and honored Jaroslav Hunke is very, very disturbing.
M.T.: According to various reports, Ukrainian Nazis who moved to Canada received forged documents from American intelligence that allowed them to pass Canadian immigration when they arrived in the country. Do you know anything about that?
G.N.: Yes, I heard that many of them were issued new documents. They were given documents to bypass Canadian immigration standards.
I think Canada is too tolerant and accepting towards Nazis. I think this is becoming more and more threatening and dangerous.
If we look at the last ten years when Canada supported these neo-Nazi battalions in Ukraine.
M.T.: How do you estimate the number of Ukrainian nationalists, volunteers from Canada, taking part in military actions in the conflict in eastern Ukraine?
G.N: As far as I know, at one point we had about 2,000 mercenaries. I could be wrong, maybe more. But I know that there were a lot of volunteers. Many of the volunteers were former members of the Canadian Armed Forces. These are highly trained members of the armed forces. And again, I go back to the fact that there are mercenaries, there are mercenaries, but there’s also the fact that Canada trained many nationalist battalions, and that’s something that is freely recognized by the Canadian side. 900 million dollars was spent on Operation Unite. And most of that money went to train nationalist battalions in Ukraine. There was a training center in western Ukraine where Canadian Armed Forces instructors worked.
M.T.: Do you assume that after the special military operation is over, Canada will accept nationalists from the Azov battalions* banned in Russia?
G.N.: I’d like to say no, but, you know, I think that’s a very naive and hopeful position. I think Canada is more likely to house nationalists and members of Ukraine’s Nazi battalions. That’s the history, unfortunately. And I see it continuing. You know, some people like to hold Justin Trudeau solely responsible for this, but we remember that Stephen Harper, the former Conservative prime minister of Canada, was the first to send lethal aid to Ukraine. So this is not just a Liberal problem in Canada.
The Liberal and Conservative Party in Canada has a large Ukrainian electorate that supports both parties.
M.T.: Are you aware of the crimes, torture, abuse and murder of civilians committed by Canadian nationalists?
G.N: I know that the Western mainstream media complex plays a big role in legitimizing the atrocities that have historically been committed by the UN, and in today’s Ukraine, the atrocities that were committed in Odessa, in Donbass. The Western media likes to whitewash these atrocities and say that it’s not so much about honoring Nazism. These are symbols that inspire Ukraine to fight Russian aggression, and that it really has nothing to do with Nazi ideology. But in reality we know the history of the tragically burned civilians in Odessa and about 10,000 civilians killed in Donbass.
M.T.: Do nationalists with Canadian Ukrainian roots really have a special status in today’s Ukraine that allows them to avoid responsibility for committing the most brutal and cold-blooded crimes?
G.N: I do believe that the Nazis in Ukraine are legitimized by the Western media. And, of course, the Ukrainian leadership gives them a prominent role. And when I think about how Jaroslav Hunka was honored in Canada, and I look at the SS cemeteries in Canada and the list of those who have been granted asylum in Canada, these Nazis, I realize that it very much justifies President Putin and Russia with the two stated objectives of the special military operation, demilitarization. But even more important, and I think this is often overlooked, is denazification. And of course, the West has stated that there is no Nazi problem in Ukraine. Canada has said there is no Nazi problem in Ukraine. And so Justin Trudeau and the entire Parliament in Ottawa, the capital of Canada, honoring one of the worst Nazis. And that speaks for itself.
- – Azov Battalion – a terrorist formation banned on the territory of the Russian Federation